When we play games on PC, sometimes we can notice that horizontal lines appear on the screen. As if the image is out of sync. Indeed that is exactly what happens, and it is a phenomenon known as screen tearing. We will tell you below why it occurs, and what you can do to solve it.
Normally learning is also associated with micro stuttering, another adverse effect that occurs when the frames per second that the GPU is capable of producing are not in sync with the monitor’s refresh rate.
Why does the tearing occur?
This phenomenon has surely been experienced by all of us who play regularly on PC. Tearing is a graphical distortion that can be seen on the screen and that happens when the graphics processor (GPU) loses synchronization with the screen. It causes a horizontal line from which the top section stops being synchronized with the bottom one shows one frame, while the other section shows a different one. In the most serious cases, two or even more of these lines could appear.
When the GPU is heavily loaded, it may not be able to keep the FPS in sync with the monitor’s refresh rate, and as a result, part of the screen appears with one frame drawn and part of the screen appears with a different frame (the following, generally), leaving in between what are called ” dropped frames “, or frames that the GPU has had to skip in order to continue drawing the next ones on the screen. This is what is known as tearing.
How to fix screen tearing
One of the most obvious solutions is to have a monitor that has FreeSync or Adaptive-Sync technology in the case that your graphics card is AMD or a monitor with G-Sync technology in the case that your graphics is NVIDIA since These technologies make the monitor refresh rate automatically adapt to the FPS generated by the graphics card so that tearing is completely avoided.
But luckily, there are also some things you can do without spending money. And we are going to proceed to explain them below.
1. Lower the graphics settings or the resolution of the game
We have already explained before that tearing occurs because the graphics are not capable of generating enough frames per second to adapt to the refresh rate of the monitor, and one of the things you can do is lower the graphics settings of the games or even lower the resolution so that the graph does not have as much workload and the FPS go up. As a general rule, if your monitor is 60 Hz and you have more than 60 FPS. The tearing will be reduced or it will be canceled if we have VSYNC activated.
Of course, keep in mind that this will reduce the graphic quality of the game in which you do it But you already know that whoever wants something, something costs.
2. Activate hardware acceleration
You may not have to tear in games but in other tasks such as watching streaming videos. In this case, the tearing can sometimes occur because we do not have hardware acceleration enabled in the browser, and logically if the image has to be rendered by the software and not the GPU, designed for it, this phenomenon can occur.
For example, in Chrome, you can find it in settings, advanced, system.
3. Activating vertical synchronization prevents tearing
If the game has the ability to enable vertical sync ( VSYNC ) and you have to tear, enable it. That should solve or at least alleviate the problem, although it is true that if you have to tear because the GPU does not give more of itself you will also have to resort to pointing 1. You can also force it in the control panel of the graphics card, be it from AMD or NVIDIA.
4.- Activate the “Triple buffering” option in the game options
If the game allows it, this option helps a lot to avoid tearing because as its name suggests, a buffer (a kind of cache) is created to ensure that until one frame has reached its end, the next one will not be passed. This has as a negative point that we could suffer “stops” in the games.
If none of these previous options works for you (although number 1 should always work), unfortunately. It will be time to loosen your pocket. And you will have to buy either a monitor with FreeSync / G-Sync or a new more powerful graphic (or both).
5.- Go to a monitor with FreeSync / G-Sync
Monitors with FreeSync (AMD) and G-Sync (NVIDIA) technology synchronize the FPS that the graphics card is capable of generating with the monitor’s refresh rate, thus avoiding tearing and, in addition, stuttering. It is the best way to avoid this phenomenon but logically also the most expensive. However, keep in mind that it does not always work. Since if the graphic is not capable of generating the minimum FPS, tearing will continue to occur.